Thursday, March 10, 2011

WORLD KIDNEY DAY 2011..What it means to you

On World Kidney Day I am going to start off with numbers I live with everyday from UNOS this morning March 10 at 8:00 a.m. in the United States:

Waiting list candidates as of today 7:55am110,643

Active waiting list candidates as of today 7:55am72,261

Transplants January - December 201028,664

Donors January - December 201014,503

Really take a look at this you want to have to read it and realize you are one of those numbers in the top two lines????

That is if you are lucky enough to make it to the list....and don't die from complications of undiagnosed kidney disease. You need those kidneys healthy if some other trauma should befall you.  Please listen to me when I say you HAVE to live a healthy lifestyle with moderate exercise, limit your drinking, no drug use, maintain a healthy weight and stay active. I would like to to bet over half of Americans could prevent having kidney disease by doing this.
Your kidneys rule your body. They can make or break the other organs in your body...I did EVERYTHING right but genetics got me. I know there are those of you saying right now...see you never smoked, drank, used drugs, exercised everyday of your life and ate the perfect diet...what good did it do you???? Think if I hadn't??? I would be in an urn on the mantle right now. Do you have children or grandchildren???? IF you aren't doing everything in your power to keep your kidneys healthy you are screwing them over royally.

These are  the facts of the prevalence of Kidney disease. YOU think you are just reading them because I blogged them....Pay attention you never know when you will be reading them for yourself, husband, your child or grandchild. With the massive increase in kidney disease in this country it is very probable.

  • More than 26 million Americans over age 20 have chronic kidney disease. This number represents approximately 13% of the adult population. Millions more are at increased risk for developing kidney disease, and most don’t even know it.
  • More than 526,000 Americans are currently receiving treatment for kidney failure (also called end stage renal disease, or ESRD). This includes more than 367,000 dialysis patients and 158,000 people with functioning kidney transplants.
  • Every month, the number of Americans waiting for kidney transplants increases. About 83,000 patients are awaiting kidney transplants and more than 2,200 are waiting for kidney-pancreas transplants.
  • Chronic kidney disease has a disproportionate impact on minority populations, especially African Americans. The incidence of kidney failure (ESRD) per million people is: 998 for African Americans, compared with 273 for white Americans.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, accounting for 44 percent of the new cases. Nearly 180,000 people are living with kidney failure resulting from diabetes.
  • Uncontrolled or poorly controlled high blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney failure in the U.S. It accounts for 24 percent of all cases of kidney failure in the U.S.
  • The third and fourth leading causes of kidney failure in the U.S. are glomerulonephritis, an inflammatory disease of the kidneys, and polycystic kidney disease. These disorders account for 16 percent and 5 percent, respectively, of the new cases of kidney failure in the U.S.
  • Kidney diseases continue to be a major cause of lost productivity, physician visits, and hospitalizations among men and women.

From the NKF website what I feel is some of the most important information for every healthy person.

More than 26 million Americans—one in nine adults—have kidney disease. Millions more are at increased risk for getting it, and most don’t know it. Kidney disease can be found and treated early to prevent more serious kidney disease and other complications.
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) recommends three simple tests to check for kidney disease:

Blood pressure. High blood pressure is the second most common cause of kidney disease. High blood pressure may also happen as a result of kidney disease. A blood pressure of 140/90 or higher is called high blood pressure. If you have diabetes or kidney disease a target less than 130/80 is recommended. Keeping blood pressure under control is important to lower risk of kidney disease, heart and blood vessel disease, and stroke.
• Urinalysis. A urinalysis is a test that checks a sample of your urine for the amount of protein, blood (red blood cells and white blood cells) and other things. Protein and red and white blood cells are not normally found in the urine, so having too much of any of these may mean kidney disease. Having protein in the urine is one of the earliest signs of kidney disease especially in people with diabetes. Several other tests can be done to check for protein in urine. One of the tests is called the protein to creatinine ratio. It is the most accurate way to measure protein in the urine. A value of 200 mg/gm or less per day is normal. A value higher than 200 mg/gm is too high. Another test, called the albumin to creatinine ratio, is good for people at increased risk for kidney disease—people with diabetes, high blood pressure, or family history of diabetes, high blood pressure or kidney disease. A value of less than 30 mg/gm per day is normal for the albumin to creatinine ratio; a value of 30 mg/gm per day or higher is high and may be a sign of early kidney disease. With either of these tests, you don’t need to collect a 24-hour urine sample, which may be hard to collect.
• Glomerular filtration rate (GFR). GFR is estimated from results of a serum (or blood)creatinine test. The GFR tells how well your kidneys are working to remove wastes from your blood. It is the best way to check kidney function. A serum (or blood) creatinine test alone should not be used to check kidney function. GFR is calculated using the serum creatinine and other factors such as age and gender. In the early stages of kidney disease GFR may be normal. A value of 60 or higher is normal (GFR decreases with age). A GFR number of less than 60 is low and may mean that you have kidney disease. Check with your doctor about having the GFR test (a GFR calculator can be found at NKF’s Web site If you are at increased risk for kidney disease (have diabetes, high blood pressure, or family history of diabetes, high blood pressure or kidney disease), you should find out if you have kidney disease. Ask your doctor about these three simple tests. They should be done at least once a year so that if you have early kidney disease, it can be treated right away. Early kidney disease can and should be treated to keep it from getting worse!

I would like to tell you a few a few small things you can teach your children that may keep them from having end stage renal. You might want to consider trying them yourself.

  • Throw out your salt shaker. Our foods today are so full of Sodium Chloride (NaCl) it is a crime.
  • Get up off the couch. If your body is strong from a good regular physically active 2 hours a day your kidneys will be stronger. I don't mean being in the gym I am talking about just screwing around outside or playing BB with friends. Hide those friggin Xboxes and such which are creating a whole bunch future new patients for the Nephrologists in med school.
  • Drink lots of water and throw out all dark colored sodas. I know you all have heard this a zillion times. This one thing can keep your healthy kidneys that way. If your children learn from infancy to leave the nasty drinks alone (and that means too much juice as well as milk) and drink good old H20 their body will thank them 1,000 times over as they age
  • Every year have a blood work renal panel done and learn what the numbers mean. This is important for children as  well. Checkups mean check the whole body not just your weight and height. The earlier any renal problems are discovered the better your chances are of saving your kidneys.
  • If you have parents, grandparents, cousins or any blood relative who has high blood pressure, diabetes, or renal problems TELL YOUR DOCTOR. They are not mind readers. Learn your families medical history. 
My personal wish is if anyone reading this has a substance abuse problem of any kind..and I mean drinking 24 beers on the weekend..KNOCK IT OFF AND GET HELP. There has been many a person destroy their renal function acting the fool.
MODERATION...Does not mean you can't have fun. BUT if you are in life for the long haul you HAVE to take care of your kidneys....You may never have renal failure but if you ever have to have surgery with anesthesia, food poisoning, cancer, become pregnant or the myriad of other things your body can experience while being used on this Earth if your kidneys are in tip top shape your life is going to be a lot easier.

So on this World Kidney Day say a prayer for all of us fighting the good fight and say a double prayer for all the Nurses, Docs, Researchers and Organ and Kidney Foundation workers who spend their lives trying to save people like me. Every day in the United States about 80 people receive a life saving transplant...not necessarily a kidney. That is not many....Please for me and all my friends on the UNOS list sign your donor card and keep your kidneys healthy...we don't need anymore competition.



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